On Tuesday, September 25, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4) in conjunction with members of the Congressional Black Caucus hosted a press conference recognizing National Voter Registration Day at the Milwaukee City Hall Rotunda.
The press conference focused on the following topics:
register constituents to vote;
re-register members of the community to vote;
encourage those who are unable to go to the polls, to register to vote absentee;
inform voters about suppressive laws that could affect Wisconsin voters, and;
bring awareness to voters and the media about voting rights and our fight against suppressive measures.
"Immediately following the 2008 election, many states, including our home state of Wisconsin, have enacted or proposed strict voting laws that impose unfair restrictions on eligible voters across the country," said Rep. Gwen Moore. "It has been estimated that block-the-vote efforts through restrictive voting legislation could prevent as many as 5 million people from registering to vote and/or casting a ballot this election year nationwide.
"My colleagues and I are fighting back because voting is a fundamental right of every American citizen. Not only is voting historically relevant, it is a critically important issue to our community. Moreover, the restrictive voting laws disproportionately affect minorities, the elderly, the young, and low-income communities. During this election year, members of the Congressional Black Caucus are doing all we can to protect voting rights and to ensure that no eligible voter is turned away from the ballot box. Our members are doing everything from speaking out vocally against restrictive state voting laws, to proposing federal legislation to maintain access to the ballot box, working with local and state elected officials and working with outside organizations to educate voters on the voting laws within their states. I cordially invite you to join me in making sure all Americans are registered on National Voter Registration Day."
Also joining Cong. Moore at the press conference were Mayor Tom Barrett, Ald. Milele Coggs, Sen. and City Treasurer Spencer Coggs, Milwaukee Branch NAACP president Atty. James Hall, and Attorney Richard Saks- Hawks, Quindel SC, Attorneys at Law who was the lead attorney for the Voter ID Lawsuit representing the NAACP, Voce La Frontera and citizens of Wisconsin.
Mayor Barrett addressed the additional hours for voting early, and also encouraged people to register and vote early if possible, especially college students. He also stated that the Governor's office had restricted several early voting weekends so there would only be one leading up to the November elections.
Although for now, the Voter ID Law is not in effect in Wisconsin, however these advocates want Wisconsin voters to still obtain IDs and be prepared for any last minute manuevers being made by Republican influences.
Voter advocates also want Wisconsin citizens to be aware of all the steps involved with voting. Wisconsin law requires every quailified voter to complete or maintain a current voter registration before voting in an election. Therefore, you must complete a voter registration application if you are a new Wisconsin voter or your name/or residential address has changed since you last registered to vote.
If you are uncertain of your voter registration name, address or status, you may click on this link: https://vpa.wi.gov/ and select option one.
The City of Milwaukee provides four opportunities for completing and updating your voter registration:by mail, at any Milwaukee Public Library, at City Hall and at your voting site on Election day.
Be aware that registration by mail and at Milwaukee Public Libraries ends 20 days prior to each election (or the third Wednesday before each election). This is referred to as the "close of registration" date.